Colorado State University faculty member elected to county health board

Note to Reporters: A photo of Tracy Nelson is available with this news release online at

Tracy Nelson, an associate professor in the Department of Health and Exercise Science at Colorado State University, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Health District of Northern Larimer County.

Nelson, who is also associate director of the Colorado School of Public Health, where she is an associate professor of epidemiology, was elected to the board on May 6 along with two other Fort Collins residents, Tess Heffernan and Michael Liggett.

The Health District, which is governed by the five-member board, provides dental, mental health, prescription assistance and health promotion services to residents of northern Larimer County. Members serve staggered, four-year terms and are elected at-large from the community. Elections are held every two years in even-numbered years.

“We are excited about Tracy’s election to the Health District board because our departmental mission aligns so well with that of the Health District,” said Gay Israel, head of the Department of Health and Exercise Science. “Furthermore, Tracy’s teaching and research will add important expertise to the board, while her service there will provide important insights for our department and CSU about community health issues, programs and gaps that we may be able to help address.”

“The Health District plays an important role in keeping our community healthy through an array of services as well as legislative and policy analyses,” said Nelson, who will be promoted to full professor in health and exercise science on July 1. “I am excited to be part of a leadership team whose mission is to improve our community’s health status, and to tie this into the work I do in HES and with the Colorado School of Public Health.”

Nelson, who got her undergraduate degree in health and exercise science at CSU, earned a master’s degree in public health from the University of Northern Colorado and a Ph.D. in biobehavioral health from Pennsylvania State University.

One of her current projects is to analyze 20 years of data from the Healthy Hearts Club, a free service offered to all grade school and high school students in Northern Colorado. The club was started by Dr. Gary Luckasen, a CSU alumnus and founder of the Heart Center of the Rockies.

The Department of Health and Exercise Science is in the College of Health and Human Sciences at CSU.